And it’s been awhile since I last saw you…

wowza!  i haven’t posted anything since march 5th!  what up wit dat??  well there’s been A LOT going on.  well really there’s been ONE major thing going on but that one major thing has had a ginormous impact on my life.

I’M PREGNANT!  yes, this zombiewife is going to be a zombiemommy!  i suspected in march but found out for certain on april 13th.  at that point i was 8 weeks 5 days!  hearing the heartbeat was the most beautiful sound i’d ever heard in my life.  however, i had a few pregnancy symptoms in, what i felt, was extreme abundance.  primarily exhaustion and sickness.  oh man i was tired ALL THE TIME the first couple of months, and even now i have a hard time staying up past 9:30pm regardless of how late Big Kitty lets me sleep before waking me up for 3rd or 4th morning feeding (my kitties in their mature ages are providing me with lots of late-night-wake-up-for-feeding practice).  i haven’t yet thrown up but that’s been more of a matter of will power than sensation.  i HATE HATE HATE vomiting.  and so even though i’ve had a lot of nausea, and felt like i could throw up many times, i haven’t done it.  that means a lot of laying on the couch or in bed moaning and groaning.  but, nearing the end of the first trimester, its subsiding a bit.  so combine the constant nausea with the debilitating exhaustion, and you have one zombie who hasn’t wanted to make the effort to post a thing!

add to that the fact that i’ve had no motivation TO DO anything.  i’ve hardly cooked in the last three months.  mostly, if we’ve eaten at home at all, its been boxed mac ‘n’ cheese or frozen food from trader joe’s, which, btw, they make some awesome polenta dishes!  and the gorgonzola gnocci… YUM!! so sad that i’m not allowed soft cheeses LIKE gorgonzola anymore 😦

remember the Vegetable Wellington i made in february to practice as a possible Easter dinner?  well i bought all of the ingredients again, and on Easter… i was too sick and tired to make it!  double 😦  we ended up having mac ‘n’ cheese i believe.  i later found out i’m not supposed to have goat cheese so it was a good thing i skipped.  okay let me just say, i know its UNpasturized cheeses i’m not supposed to have.  and as long as the goat cheese is pasteurized i can have it.  but this is my first… goat cheese isn’t worth the risk.  no matter how herby and creamilishious it may be… mmmm!

however, i did make Mexican Wedding Cookies for a Cinco de Mayo pot luck we attended the other day.  now let me just start by saying i am not a baker.  so this was definitely a learning experience, but it turned out to be a rewarding one.  if you aren’t familiar with these cookies, they are dry but kind of melt in your mouth, filled with chopped pecans, and covered in powdered sugar.  i found a recipe on kraftrecipes.com that looked fairly easy with few ingredients and steps.  i wanted to make the cookies vegan because i knew most of the attendees would be vegetarian, and one would be vegan.  as i’ve said before, i hate being the only vegetarian in a group of meat-eaters and feeling left out.  so, since she is the only vegan in the group, i didn’t want her to feel left out when it came to desserts.  so i discovered Earth Balance which makes a couple of butters and margarines without any animal products (fish oil, whey, etc).  however, Albertson’s didn’t carry Earth Balance but i did find Smart Balance Light which had no fish oil and no whey… yey!  i bought my ingredients and got to work.

first of all, if you decide to use margarine, don’t use tub margarine!  i didn’t know this and found out the hard way (though it still turned out okay).  i followed the recipe pretty much (except i forgot to divide the powdered sugar and i didn’t coat the cookies in powdered sugar).  when i had all of the ingredients mixed, my batter seemed too runny to “form into 1″ balls” so i added about 3/4 cup of flour and a splash of vanilla.  that did the trick!  so i formed my balls, stuck them in the oven, and pulled them out at 15 minutes.  still looked raw inside and not yet browning.  hmmmm… another 5 minutes?  10?  a total of 35 MINUTES cooking and they finally seemed done through.  the uncooked dough in the bowl had also developed droplets of oil like a cheese pizza.  i frantically texted my sister who bakes all the time and provides the desserts for all of our family gatherings.  per her suggestion, i popped the dough in the fridge and resolved to never use tub margarine in place of butter for baking again!  too much oil!!  after that the balls still took 25+ minutes to cook but what other choice did i have??

on the way to the potluck, we stopped at Food City to pick up some “authentic” mexican baked goods just in case my cookies didn’t go over.  well guess what??  our friends LOVED my cookies and didn’t even touch the store bought stuff!  i was so flattered and surprised!  now imagine how good they would’ve been if they’d been done right!!  sorry i don’t have any pictures of the finished product… i ate them all! 😛

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First Married Valentine’s Day Dinner – Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna

Cross section of Spinach Lasagna made using Spinach Ball recipe as filler.

 This is a recipe given to my mother by my grandmother (dad’s mother).  My mom makes these for most large family occassions and celebrations – Christmas, Summer BBQ, Thanksgiving, whenever!  People always rave over them.  They’re absolutely fantastic!  The first time I asked my mom for the recipe, she emailed it to me but forgot to put the stuffing mix on the ingredient list.  So I made the recipe up until the ball forming part and didn’t know what to do! But I thought the mixture looked perfect for a lasagna.Here I am, nearly 8 years later giving that a try for the first time.  Below is the Spinach Ball recipe, but tonight I am making a lasagna using this recipe (sans stuffing mix) as a filling.
SPINACH BALLS

2 boxes frozen chopped spinach 1 cup chopped onions 3/4 cup margarine dash of garlic powder or to taste dash of pepper or to taste 1/2 cup parmesan cheese 5-6 beaten eggs 1 bag stuffing mix 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Cook spinach according to package directions.  Drain well, squeezing access water from spinach.  Transfer to medium mixing bowl. 3. Saute onions in margarine on medium heat until brown – about 8 minutes.  Add to spinach in bowl. 4. Add all remaining ingredients and mix together well. 5. Form mixture into 1” – 1 ½” balls and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Freezes well. Serving Size: unknown

Results of Mission Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna: YUM!

Reese's Tiger preparing to pounce on our lasagna! Grrrrrr!!!

My cousin asked me for the lasagna recipe so since I had to type it up anyway, I thought I would just post it here too!
How to Turn Spinach Balls into
Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna
2 boxes frozen chopped spinach 1 -1 ½ onions, chopped 3/4 cup (175 ml) margarine dash of garlic powder or to taste – I just shook the shaker all over dash of pepper or to taste – I just shook the shaker all over 1/2 cup (115 ml) parmesan cheese 5-6 beaten eggs 1 box lasagna noodles (buy the “no-boil” kind to save time!) 2 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce a lot of shredded cheese – I didn’t measure, I just used a lot!  I jused a mix of cheddar and mozzerella.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 1. If you are using regular lasagna, start boiling them first according to package directions. 2. Cook spinach according to package directions (I boiled it in a cup of water for 10 minutes).  Drain well, squeezing extra water from spinach.  Transfer to a medium mixing bowl cooled and drained. 3. While spinach is cooking, saute onions in margarine on medium heat until brown – about 8 minutes.  Add onions to spinach in bowl. 4. Add garlic powder, black pepper, parmesan cheese, and eggs then mix together well. 5. In your baking dish, spread about half a cup to a cup (115 ml – 230 ml) of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the dish.  Then layer cooked lasagna noodles on top of the sauce.  Next spread the spinach mixture over the noodles.  Next layer more noodles on top of the spinach mixture.   Cover the noodles liberally with more spaghetti sauce.  If you still have room in the dish and more ingredients, then repeat the layers with what you have.  When you are done, make sure the top layer is spaghetti sauce.  Now spread as much shredded cheese over the top of the lasagna.  Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 50-60 minutes or until heated all the way through and cheese on top is bubbly.EAT AND ENJOY!!